This is a sponsored article on behalf of BFI Southbank.
As far back as the 1960s, you'll find a proud British tradition of working class talent lighting up the silver screen. To celebrate, BFI Southbank has put together a season of screenings and Q&As, underscoring the work created across half a century of cinema. These are films that transcend their genres; ones which connected with audiences on a personal level — and still do. Here are just a few of the highlights.
This is England Q&A
First up: the inimitable Shane Meadows' This Is England, which takes a stark look at Thatcherite Britain and skinhead culture. See stars Thomas Turgoose — all grown up since the movie was made — Jo Hartley, and producer Mark Herbert, talk at a Q&A following the screening. Wednesday 19 September, 8.30pm
Ken Loach's debut film
When speaking of British working class cinema, the name 'Ken Loach' is inevitably uttered. BFI takes us back to the start of his career in film, with debut feature Poor Cow. It showed what life was like a single mother in the 1960s. Following the film there's an in-depth onstage interview with actor Lesley Sharp, exploring her 30 year career, spanning some of the most important moments in British cinema. Sunday 23 September, 1.30pm
One of Samantha Morton's finest roles
Morvern Callar is a film blessed with the perfect collaboration of director and star, Lynne Ramsay and Samantha Morton respectively. In the film Morton plays the titular Morvern a supermarket worker in a small Scottish town who ends up under an assumed identity in Spain. See both Ramsay and Morton reflect on the film at a Q&A afterwards. Friday 28 September, 6pm
A timely film on gang violence
Returning to London, we meet Bullet Boy, played by garage MC Ashley Walters. The film centres on Walters' character's life after being released from prison for gang related activity, a gun he has, and how it affects his little brother. After the film Walters gives a Q&A on this film and his subsequent career. Saturday 6 October, 6.30pm
Double up on film chat
Before Bullet Boy there's a double header of events, both of which will interest those looking to break into the British film industry. Working Class Heroes: The Filmmakers, explains how to get projects completed without connections or money. Following on from that there's Doc Brown in Conversation, where the north-west London boy done good, discusses his career on screen and looks back at the city through cinema. Both events are £6.50 individually, but there's a joint deal including Bullet Boy that's a steal at £15. Saturday 6 October, 12.45pm and 4.25pm respectively
A Bob Hoskins classic
Us Brits do love crime thrillers. See one of the finest examples of the genre, The Long Good Friday, which takes place against the backdrop of the redevelopment of the Docklands. Watch the tale of organised villainy with admirer of the film, writer-director Steven Knight. Afterwards he takes part in a Q&A — hear how the movie influenced his own distinctive style. Sunday 7 October, 4.30pm
A whole lot more
That barely scratches the surface of all the fantastic films shown as part of the programme. Danny Boyle's feature debut Shallow Grave, Albert Finney's only foray into directing Charlie Bubbles, Julie Walters' big screen breakthrough in Educating Rita and much more. See the whole programme of events here.
Working Class Heroes runs from 1 September-9 October.